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2021 Oscar Predictions:

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NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 12: Oscar Statues are displayed at the 2007 “Meet the Oscars” presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on February 12, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Just like Schitt’s Creeks very own Moira Rose, my favourite season is awards season and we are nearing the end of the strangest and most unpredictable awards season we have ever seen. The season is culminating with the 93rd Academy Awards (25th April 2021). In this article, I will be giving a run down of the all of the nominations and who I think will take home the biggest prizes come Oscar night (and if given the choice who I would hand the Oscars out to.
*DISCLAIMER: I have only predicted the categories for which I have seen the nominations.*

Best Picture:

Nominations: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Nomadland looks on course to take the Best Picture Oscar.

2020 was an awful year for many factors of peoples lives, however it was a very good year for film. This is one of the best lineups for Best Picture in recent memory. Nomadland is the clear frontrunner with Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Minari looking to be its closest competitors.

PREDICTED WINNER- NOMADLAND
MY CHOICE- NOMADLAND

Best Director:

Nominations: Chloe Zhao, David Fincher, Emerald Fennell, Lee Isaac Chung, Thomas Vinterberg.

Chloe Zhao has so far stormed awards season.

When the nominations were announced, Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) earning a nomination was my favourite surprise nomination of all the nominations, along with Emerald Fennell (Promsing Young Woman), although that wasn’t much of a surprise! However, I can’t look much further than Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) becoming only the second woman to ever take home the Best Director award.

PREDICTED WINNER: CHLOE ZHAO
MY CHOICE: CHLOE ZHAO

Best Actress:

Nominations: Andra Day, Carey Mulligan, Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby, Viola Davis.

Carey Mulligan shines in Promising Young Woman.

This category has been completely blown wide open. Each of these actresses would be worthy of taking home the Oscar with each delivering fantastic performances and I would be happy with any of them winning. Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) looked to be the early frontrunner however with Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) taking home the SAG Award, Andra Day (The United States VS Billie Holliday) winning the Golden Globe and only Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman) up for BAFTA, this category certainly does have a spanner in the works for many.

PREDICTED WINNER- VIOLA DAVIS
MY CHOICE- CAREY MULLIGAN

Best Actor:

Nominations: Anthony Hopkins, Chadwick Boseman, Gary Oldman, Riz Ahmed, Steven Yeun.

Chadwick Boseman looks certain to win the award for Best Actor.

All three of Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari) and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) are all fantastic in their films this year and are fully deserving of their Oscar nominations however none are in with a look in, in my opinion. Despite Anthony Hopkins (The Father) producing the best performance of the year with a crushing and heartbreaking portrayal of a man with dementia, this looks like Chadwick Boseman’s (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) Oscar to lose.

PREDICTED WINNER: CHADWICK BOSEMAN
MY CHOICE: ANTHONY HOPKINS

Best Supporting Actress:

Nominations: Amanda Seyfried, Glenn Close, Maria Bakalova, Olivia Colman, Yuh-Jung Youn.

Olivia Colman could take her home her second Oscar in two years.

For me this is the hardest category to predict for this year with no clear frontrunner. Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) took home the Golden Globe in this category and she isn’t even nominated for the Oscar. Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) and Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) are the only two nominated in this category at the BAFTA’s. Despite Amanda Seyfried dazzling in Mank, I can’t see her being in the running. Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy) is fully deserving of an Oscar however this again won’t be her year. That leaves Maria Bakolava, Olivia Colman (The Father) and Yuh-Jung Youn- it could really be any of them!

PREDICTED WINNER: YUH-JUNG YOUN
MY CHOICE: OLIVIA COLMAN

Best Supporting Actor:

Predictions: Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield, Leslie Odom Jr, Paul Raci, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Daniel Kaluuyas win looks set in stone.

One of the most fun Best Supporting Actor categories in recent memory, all are deserving to win the Oscar. The standout of them all however is Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah). It’s his award to lose.

PREDICTED WINNER: DANIEL KALUUYA
MY CHOICE: DANIEL KALUUYA

Best Animated Feature:

Nominations: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers.

Soul debuted on Disney+ to rave reviews from critics and audience alike.

There was some talk at the start of awards season that Soul could be in line for a Best Picture nod. This hasn’t happened however I think it is a shoo-in to take home the Best Animated Feature prize. It will have some strong competition from Onward and Wolfwalkers however it is likely to be a favourite amongst the Academy voters.

PREDICTED WINNER: SOUL
MY CHOICE: WOLFWALKERS

Best International Feature:

Nominations: Another Round, Better Days, Collective, The Man Who Sold His Skin, Quo Vadis, Aida?

Another Round (Denmark) looks to be the clear frontrunner.

Like Parastite last year, Another Round looks certain to take home the Best International Feature award, and deservedly so. It’s easily one of my favourite watches from last year. Quo Vadis, Aida? could provide some competition however Thomas Vinterberg’s nod for Best Director looks to have all but sealed the win.

PREDICTED WINNER: ANOTHER ROUND
MY CHOICE: ANOTHER ROUND

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Nominations: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, The Father, The White Tiger.

Sacha Baron Cohen is nominated for the second time in this category, once again for Borat.

The screenplay categories always plays a pivotal role in predicting who will take home the Best Picture award and this year could be no different. Nomadland looks to be the clear frontrunner with The Father picking up some momentum. Whilst Nomadland is a fantastic piece of filmmaking, the screenplay is not it’s biggest plus point, whereas The Father relies heavily on its dialogue. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm could make a late rally, it’s probably Sacha Baron Cohen’s best chance of taking an award come Oscars night.

PREDICTED WINNER: NOMADLAND
MY CHOICE: THE FATHER

Best Original Screenplay:

Nominations: Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Original Screenplay could be the best opportunity for Minari to take home an award.

Possibly the most wide open and heavily contested category. Each of these screenplays would be a worthy winner. Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) looks set to be in the lead, and rightfully so, however Minari is breathing down its neck. You can also never rule out an Aaron Sorkin screenplay (The Trial of the Chicago 7) to be a favourite amongst the Academy voters.

PREDICTED WINNER: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
MY CHOICE: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Cinematography:
Nominations: Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, News of the World, NOMADLAND (PREDICTED WINNER+MY CHOICE), The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Editing:
Nominations: THE FATHER (MY CHOICE), Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (PREDICTED WINNER). 

Best Production Design:
Nominations: The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, MANK (PREDICTED WINNER+MY CHOICE), News of the World, Tenet.

Best Visual Effects:
Nominations: Love and Monsters, Mulan, TENET (PREDICTED WINNER+MY CHOICE), The Midnight Sky, The One and Only Ivan.

Original Score:
Nominations: Da 5 Bloods, Mank, MINARI (MY CHOICE), News of the World, SOUL (PREDICTED WINNER). *TENET WAS ROBBED OF A NOMINATION*

Original Song:
Nominations: Fight For You: Judas and the Black Messiah, HEAR MY VOICE: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (MY CHOICE) Husavik: Eurovision Song Contest, Io Si: The Life Ahead, SPEAK NOW: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (PREDICTED WINNER).

Best Sound:
Nominations: Greyhound, Mank, News of the World, SOUL (MY CHOICE), SOUND OF METAL (PREDICTED WINNER).

Best Costume Design:
Nominations: EMMA (MY CHOICE), MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (PREDICTED WINNER), Mank, Mulan, Pinocchio.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Nominations: Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (MY CHOICE+PREDICTED WINNER), Mank, Pinocchio.

FILM RATING

23 years old-Manchester-Film Studies Graduate-Qualified Film and Media Teacher-Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Colman enthusiast. Check out my Letterboxd for more reviews and film goodness. letterboxd.com/joelhowarth

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‘Return To Monkey Island’ – the beloved franchise is back!

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Devolver Digital / Lucasfilm Games

It’s been 13 years since the last Monkey Island instalment was released in 2009. Going back even further, it’s 32 years since the original game ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ was released on the Amiga in 1990. Created by game designers Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, it helped launch the point and click genre of adventure games onto a global scale, and introduced young and old gamers to a fun, family-friendly interactive adventure to capture the imagination.

You take control of a young wannabe pirate, Guybrush Threepwood, who arrives on a small island in the Caribbean with aspirations of becoming a – well – a real pirate! A whole host of colourful characters await him on his journey, including the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and Governor Elaine Marley. When the Governor is kidnapped by LeChuck who terrorises the entire Caribbean with his un-dead crew, it falls to you to help Guybrush assemble a crew, get a ship, set sail for the fabled Monkey Island, save Elaine and defeat LeChuck!

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ (1990)

This was followed by a hugely successful sequel in 1991; ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ that expanded and improved on everything we had seen before. Years later in 1997 and under new management after Gilbert and his team parted ways, the third entry – ‘The Curse Of Monkey Island’ – helped introduce new blood to the franchise. New styles of graphics, interactive heads-up display and a full voice cast brought the series to life like never before.

In 2000, the fourth entry – ‘Escape From Monkey Island’ – was released that divided fans and critics. The heart was there, but the inclusion of 3D graphics and removal of the familiar mouse controls for PC was a big shift that didn’t win everyone over. It would be in 2009 when Telltale Games developed an episodic entry called ‘Tales Of Monkey Island’, returning some familiar point and click elements, the full voice cast and a very imaginative fantastical story.

2009 also signalled the revival of both original games with new special editions being released for PC and console. This breathed new life into the classics, bringing the established voice cast to record dialogue, new composition of the score and improved graphics and HUD. It also allowed players to switch between classic and special editions whilst playing for a truly immersive experience of old and new.

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ Special Edition (2009)

 And then…all was quiet.

Fans cried out for more Monkey Island, but when Disney acquired LucasFilm Games in 2012 and the entire back catalogue of George Lucas, it seemed the adventures were well and truly over. However, in 2021 when Disney brought Lucasfilm Games back, a glimmer of hope was sparked. And then on April 1st 2022, Ron Gilbert announced the development of a brand new Monkey Island game. Being this was April Fool’s Day and Gilbert was known for his tongue-in-cheek jokes, there was a huge pinch of salt taken with the announcement. But just three days later, Devolver Development released the teaser trailer for ‘Return To Monkey Island’

 After two years of secret conversations with Disney and the old team including Gilbert, Grossman, original composer Clint Bajakian and voice actor Dominic Armato, a new story had been written for the 5th entry into the series. Described as both a direct continuation from LeChuck’s Revenge but with new elements that honour the previous games not under Gilbert’s design, it seems this is the game fans have been waiting years for.

A striking difference noted by many was the art style. While hardcore fans longed for a return to the classic pixel design of the original games, something of a nostalgic comfort blanket, artist Rex Crowle (of ‘Tearaway’ fame) brought the look into 2022 and then some. Taking a 2D style but with a cartoonish, almost paperfolded style, this entry looks nothing but unique and unlike anything that has come before. In order to keep the game fresh and appealing to new gamers and old, Gilbert couldn’t simply harken back to a game design that kept the series in the 90s. He had to take new, bold risks to be innovative and fresh. This looks just that.

‘Return To Monkey Island’ (2022)

With Gilbert and the team releasing mini teasers each Monday in a self-proclaimed Monkey Island Monday, critics and fans worldwide have lapped up everything the game has offered. It holds nods and winks the franchise as a whole (especially the originals) whilst giving us glimpses of new characters, islands and puzzles. The HUD retains the point and click charm but in a modern way. And with a full voice cast back to bring new and old characters to life, it seems this is the perfect time to hoist the main sails and set sail once more as we return to Monkey Island…

‘Return To Monkey Island’ will be available on PC via Steam, macOS and Nintendo Switch from Monday 19th September 2022.

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Manchester Comic Con Returns! With A Star Studded Lineup And More

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With the summer Movie, Comic Book & TV season in full swing with the likes of Stranger Things: Season 4 & Obi-Wan Kenobi currently airing to their respective streaming services and Jurassic World: Dominion amongst other anticipated projects on the horizon, There’s certainly a lot to look forward too over the coming months, And one of those is the return of Monopoly Event’s Manchester Comic Con, the event which promises to bring all the love of Pop Culture & More into one place! Here’s just a small sneak peak at what you can expect below…

Manchester Comic Con General Information Provided By Monopoly Events

The next Comic Con Manchester in the summer of 2022 promises to be an event to remember for comic, tv, and film culture fans across the globe as we bring you a phenomenal guest line-up including Star Trek‘ and Heroes legend Zachary Quinto, Teen Wolf stars Tyler Posey, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig, Dylan Sprayberry, and Linden Ashby, Superman and Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Jordan Elsass, and Alex Garfin, the LEGENDS that are Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner. Lesley Ann Brandt, D.B. Woodside, and Aimee Garcia from Lucifer, The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs, Cobra Kai stars Martin Kove, Jesse Kove, Ron Thomas, and Tony O’Dell, Little Mermaid voice actor Jodi Benson, Supernatural‘s Emily Swallow, Bai Ling from The Crow, Police Academy‘s Lance Kinsey, and the sweetest of all reunions as we welcome Peter Ostrum, Paris Themmen, Julie Dawn Cole, Michael Bollner and Rusty Goffe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

A guest line-up that already is truly unimaginable – and as always – it’s all by the fans for the fans.

Let us not forget our epic Traders Hall as well! Where you could buy everything from a dancing Gizmo plushie to a Baywatch lifebuoy! Finally, our league of loyal cosplayers were all in attendance with their amazing costumes and make up ready and willing to get in a selfie or 100!

The Star Studded Guest Line-up Provided By Monopoly Events

This is sure to be the pop culture event of the summer & one both you & I surely wont want to miss. Am I right?

To buy your tickets and find out more information, head over to the official Manchester Comic Con site before it returns to the BEC Centre, July 30-31.

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PARAMOUNT+ Reveals UK Launch Date, Pricing, Distribution Partners & More

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Paramount+, the global streaming service from Paramount Global, will launch in the UK and Ireland on 22 June 2022. After countless months of waiting It was announced by the company reporting their first-quarter earnings call on 3 of May, during which Paramount’s President and CEO, Bob Bakish, outlines global expansion plans for the streaming service. 

The ongoing momentum of Paramount+ will also see the service launch in South Korea in June, with further launches planned in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria in the second half of the year. Additionally, in 2023, Paramount+ will launch in India in partnership with Viacom 18, as part of a recently announced agreement, and is poised to participate in this fast-growing market. 

“Paramount is known for its leading portfolio of premium entertainment brands and a robust content engine that fuels our rapidly expanding streaming service, Paramount+. This year will be monumental for our streaming strategy as we accelerate our global ambitions, rapidly expanding Paramount+ in Europe beginning with the UK, Italy, Germany, France and more by the end of this year and debut in Asia with South Korea in June, followed by India in 2023,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President and CEO, International Networks, Studios and Streaming, Paramount Global.  “With an already expansive global footprint and a strong, long-term market-by-market strategy, we are well-poised to continue our positive momentum.” 

Maria Kyriacou, President, Australia, Canada, Israel and UK, Paramount, said, “The addition of Paramount+ to our strong portfolio of free-to-air, pay-TV and streaming services will broaden the range of choice available to our audiences in the UK and Ireland. Paramount+ will be a one-stop destination for Paramount’s biggest brands, where fans of all ages can find exclusive original premium content, global hits, and discover a world of favourites from Paramount’s vast catalogue.” 

PRICING AND DISTRIBUTION

In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online at

https://www.paramountplus.com/

and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku® and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 per month/£69.90 per annum in the UK, after a free seven-day trial*.   

Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost. 

ROBUST CONTENT SLATE

Paramount+ will launch in the UK with a broad content slate of more than 8,000 hours of content for the whole family, spanning new and exclusive Paramount+ originals, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from Paramount’s world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.  

In addition, Paramount+ is home to some of the world’s most beloved franchises in the world. Audiences in the UK will have access to the Star Trek universe; and the library and new seasons of Taylor Sheridan’s critically acclaimed Yellowstone series. South Park and the MTV Shores 

will also be available, and kids and families franchises, this include SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Rugrats plus new originals based on Nickelodeon’s most beloved characters such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.   

PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINALS

Some of the most anticipated Paramount+ and SHOWTIME® originals from the US, UK and other international markets will be available in the UK and Ireland when the service launches, including HALO, 1883, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, The Offer, Mayor of Kingstown, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Queen of the Universe and Jerry & Marge Go Large. 

These will join premium international scripted Paramount+ originals produced by VIS – the international studio division of Paramount Global – in association with independent production companies in the UK and around the world. Previously announced original UK dramas heading to Paramount+ include Sexy Beast, A Gentleman in Moscow, Flatshare, The Burning Girls, The Ex-Wife and The Blue. 

Scripted originals from around the world include

Los Enviados (The Envoys) (Mexico) and Cecilia (Mexico) – both of which have been renewed for a second season; Simon Beckett’s Chemistry of Death (Germany); The Signal (France); Bosé (Spain); Fallaci (Italy); At Midnight (Mexico); and more.   

Hours of original factual titles from the UK production community will also be available, including Haunted, The Box, Rise of the Tech Titans, MH370: The Lost Flight, Chalet Girls, LA Hairdressers, Fashion House, Pervert: Catching the Strip Search Caller and Girl Taken. 

KIDS AND FAMILY

Thousands of hours of Kids and Family content on the service will include Paramount+ Original series Fairly Odd Parents: Fairly Odder, iCarly S1 & S2, the reimagined Rumble and Big Nate. They will join original TV movies, including Honour Society, Promposal, Little Wing, Snow Day, Nicole From Last Night and Blue’s Big City Adventure. 

BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES

Paramount+ will offer unlimited access to blockbuster movies with new releases like

Scream 5, time-proven classics such as Grease and Star Trek, and family-friendly selections like PAW Patrol: The Movie, Clifford The Big Red Dog and more. 

EXCLUSIVE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Also coming to the UK service this year are Paramount+ exclusives The Thing About Pam and Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. They join other exclusive titles including South Park: Post Covid and South Park: Post Covid: The Return to Covid, as well as Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, The First Lady and The Man Who Fell to Earth.  


Paramount+ is a global digital subscription video streaming service from Paramount that features a mountain of premium entertainment for audiences of all ages. Internationally, the streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel™, in addition to a robust offering of premier local content. The service is currently live in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Nordics, and Australia.   

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